The BCC Compass – October 2021

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is!

by Courtney Mercado

 

 

When you think about Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion what is the first thing that comes to mind? You may think about diverse cultural holidays or interactive educational workshops. Maybe you thought about diverse leadership teams or wellness initiatives.

For most diversity and inclusion professionals our first thoughts are about money. What’s my budget? How much money has the organization allocated to a Diversity and Inclusion Department? How many people have been hired to do this work?

Money is always a touchy subject, but it is also a necessary one when it pertains to creating a culture that is more than just diversity language and marketing buzzwords. Inclusion, like everything else in the world, costs money to bring to life and organizations must think and plan about how much money will be needed to turn ideas and conversations about inclusion into your organization’s “new normal.” Here’s a few examples:

  1. Yesenia enters a building and jumps on an elevator to get to the next floor. Yesenia isn’t thinking about the reality that elevators are strategically installed into buildings to help people with mobile impairments access spaces easier and faster. What she sees as a quicker route to her destination is really an intentional inclusive practice for people who are differently abled.
  2. Ade is installing new signs for all the bathrooms in a law firm. They read “For Those Who Identify as Woman” and “For Those Who Identify as Man”. These signs were professionally designed and installed by an outside vendor and promote LGBTQ+ inclusivity.
  3. A Board of Directors has hired a diversity coach to partner with them to create Diversity and Inclusion goals to make the board more diverse and reflective of the agency’s client population. This diversity coach works with the Board of Directors for three consecutive years and helps the board successfully meet their outcomes.
  4. A client who is in a wheelchair makes a building manager aware that there are no ramps to safely enter or exit a building. The building manager takes this feedback to the owner, who now must bring in an engineer to effectively plan and estimate the cost of installing ramps at all the entry points.

Each of these scenarios illustrate how money is necessary to bring inclusive practices to life and it is imperative to research the costs of inclusion to be effective. At the Board of Child Care, we have a strategic goal of educating our senior leadership team on a variety of EDI competencies. To reach this goal, we needed to research and identify professionals in our community who were skilled at educating and guiding our leadership team through tough topics and helping build confidence around EDI issues and practices. This research has helped us become aware of the cost of educating our teams. With this knowledge we were able to project a budget for our next fiscal year so that in the future we can successfully reach our goal.

Embarking on your own EDI journey can be exciting and sometimes intimidating. Dedicate time to setting goals and researching the cost to meet your desired outcomes. Never shy away from advocating for funds because this work and the steps that need to be taken are important and deserve the same financial security as any other department, initiative, or strategic goal.

Read more from The BCC Compass – October 2021

BCC Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

From BCC and the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Committee with the generous support, content, and guidance from the Caminos team…..Celebramos el Mes de la Herencia Hispana! “Let’s Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month!”

Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures, and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central, and South America. The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. The push to recognize the contributions of Latin and Hispanic communities had gained momentum throughout the 1960s when the civil rights movement was at its peak and there was a growing awareness of the United States’ multicultural identities.

The Board of Child Care honors diversity and creates opportunities for our community to continue to learn about each other and engage in joy and purpose. We would not be who we are without the contributions from our Latin and Hispanic community, and we thank you for choosing to lend your talents to BCC youth, families, and community!

Read more from BCC Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

EDI Strategic Plans

Here’s Why You Need One

In June 2021, The Board of Child Care debuted an official Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion statement to our community which demonstrated our commitment to maintaining a safe and purpose-filled workplace. Our statement reads:

The Board of Child Care is committed to honoring differences, acknowledging uniqueness, and amplifying all voices. A culture of inclusivity empowers individuals at every level to enrich communities, one family at a time.

Our statement set the tone for how we expect our organizational culture to grow and develop and left our leaders asking the following questions:

  • How do we bring this statement to life?
  • How do we create buy-in from leadership to make this statement true?
  • We have a statement, but what now?

The answer to all these questions is…Create an EDI Strategic Plan! A strategic equity, diversity, and inclusion plan can help an organization make the most of its diversity by creating an inclusive, equitable, and sustainable culture and work environment. Workplace diversity is the collective mixture of differences and similarities that include individual and organizational characteristics, values, beliefs, life experiences, and behavior.  While diversity creates the potential for greater innovation and productivity, inclusion is what enables organizations to realize the business benefits of this potential. Equity refers to fair treatment in access, opportunity, and advancement for individuals.

Creating strategic plans, program models, data models, etc., are all done to ensure that an organization is meeting its outcomes. The same effort must be put into ensuring that diversity and inclusion initiatives are being prioritized within an agency. The only way to bring about positive change and positively boost organizational culture is to assign ownership. Leaders in the diversity and inclusion industry all credit the success of an organization’s advancement in diversity and inclusion to the buy-in and involvement of leaders from every part of an organization. This work is personal, so it only makes sense that people get involved to push these initiatives forward.  Look at the example that BCC provides in its EDI strategic plan.

Goal 1: Enhance Engagement & Intercultural Development

BCC provides accessible and culturally diverse learning experiences and resources for individuals of all backgrounds.

Objective 1.1 Expand professional development opportunities among staff to enhance their knowledge, skill, and capacity relating to equity, diversity, and inclusion. 

Strategic Action

Benchmark and co-sponsor quarterly ALL Staff events, educational workshops, and activities to raise awareness on issues including (but not limited to) inclusion, diversity, equity, biases, and microaggressions.

Content Creation

EDI Facilitator

Influences/Review

Senior Leadership
Diversity Partners
Training Manager
EDI Leadership

Decision Maker

EDI Facilitator

Anticipated Completion

Winter 2022

Once you have identified your goals and objectives, it is imperative to focus in on who or what team of people can push towards the milestones. Remember, giving people ownership creates buy-in and goal achievement. This is also the perfect opportunity to ensure that there is representation in decision making.

Check out these tips for getting started on your EDI Strategic Plan:

  1. Align your EDI strategic plan with your organizations mission, values, and objectives.
  2. Verify commitment from the Top. The CEO, executive team, and board of directors must back the plan and have active involvement.
  3. Leveraging Employee Diversity. Make use of individuals who want to lend their skill and knowledge base in plan implementation.
  4. Strategic Alliances and Partnerships. Creating these formal relationships between two or more parties who remain independent while working together to achieve a specific goal or to enhance an element of the strategy.
  5. Measurement and Accountability. Identify tools that will be used to determine if EDI efforts have achieved the desired results and if not, who will be responsible for correcting methodology.

Creating your EDI statement is the first step in the right direction for your organization’s EDI journey. Now the real work begins, and your agency has been tasked with the hard work of making your EDI statement true which calls for progressive planning and actions.

Read more from EDI Strategic Plans

BCC launches the Regional Navigator program in Anne Arundel County

For Immediate Release: September 1, 2021
Contact: Kristian Sekse
(443) 845-4395 (cell)
KSekse@boardofchildcare.org

New Hope for Sex Trafficking Survivors in Anne Arundel County

(Baltimore, MD)—Survivors of Sex Trafficking in Anne Arundel County have a new support system, the Regional Navigator program. Provided by the Board of Child Care, this program officially opened its doors in May of 2021. This single point of contact for trafficking survivors has recently become apparent to service providers on a national scale.  The concept of this innovative approach came to life during the extensive media coverage of the Brittiany Spears legal case.  Social media sites were overwhelmed with hashtags like #FreeBrittany as survivor voices, like that of Cyntoia Brown Long drew massive attention. Cyntoia Brown Long was a child sex trafficking victim convicted of killing her buyer at age 16 and was sentenced to life in prison as a result. Her journey to regain freedom was closely followed internationally.

The Regional Navigator Program is a response to national outcry, that children who are victims of sex trafficking should be rescued and not criminalized.

The Regional Navigator program is largely based on the BCC’s theory of change, which is trauma-informed, and relationship-based. The Board of Child Care was appointed by Governor Hogan to act as a single point of contact for survivors aged 24 and under. BCC’s Regional Navigator program is one of a few statewide pilot sites and serves individuals in Anne Arundel County.

The goals of the Regional Navigator program include creating safety plans for survivors, as well as survivor empowerment. The program offers a variety of basic needs to survivors such as provide clothing, toiletries, connecting them with legal advocacy groups, and informing survivors about victim compensation. There are many dimensions of the program that support victim empowerment. Additionally, the program provides education for community members on how to identify, report, and avoid situations that might lead to sex trafficking.

For more information, community members and survivors should call our hotline number at: 833-888-0535 or visit our website at boardofchildcare.org.

About the Board of Child Care

The Board of Child Care has a long history of serving children and families in the community.  The organization began as three United Methodist orphanages that opened in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, which later merged in 1960 to become the Board of Child Care.

Today, the Board of Child Care’s $44 million annual budget provides programs that enrich communities, one family at a time.  Serving over 1,000 unique clients and their families each year BCC offers residential treatment, mental health, special and early learning educational programs, and community-based services throughout the Mid-Atlantic.  To see a map of all program locations and descriptions of each BCC program, visit boardofchildcare.org.

For more information, please email ksekse@boardofchildcare.org.
###

Read more from BCC launches the Regional Navigator program in Anne Arundel County

Core Value Award Winner – Impact – July 2021

Impact Drives Lasting Change

We seek to make lasting change in the lives of those we work with by providing services that are inclusive, measurable, and durable. We maximize our impact by investing in staff and board development. Feedback presents the opportunity for action, which enhances and strengthens our programs and their outcomes.
Epiphany eagerly expressed her desire to help with EDI initiatives and use her talent and skill to promote equity and safety for her colleagues. Epiphany used her voice to advocate for BCC to acknowledge Juneteenth as a holiday. She interviewed her co-workers, presented research, and spoke confidently on the behalf of others. Her voice impacted and encouraged the decision to make sure that the liberation of Black Americans was celebrated and acknowledged.

Congratulations Epiphany and thank you!

 

 

Read more from Core Value Award Winner – Impact – July 2021

Core Value Award Winner – Empathy – July 2021

Listen and Respond with Empathy

Empathy will guide our programming and culture at all levels. A supportive work and program environment means valuing the voices of all people, ensuring equitable representation, and growing a desire to know and understand others. We recognize that with empathy we will better understand what type of care and encouragement to provide.

As Campolina’s Front End Lead TSS, she creates an environment that is supportive and welcoming for both staff and youth. She offers encouragement to all and always makes herself available when she is needed. Recently, Campolina received a new resident who was struggling with the transition. Nasheena had been one of the first to realize he was struggling and she made sure to talk with him one to one to better understand his needs and wants. She continued to check in with him daily to ensure he was not struggling and remind him that he had someone he could talk to.

Congratulations Nasheena and thank you!

Read more from Core Value Award Winner – Empathy – July 2021

Core Value Award Winner – Relationships – July 2021

Foster Relationships Within our Community

Openness and honesty with all stakeholders make for both the best program outcomes and team culture. Inclusive practices are the building blocks for trust. We create space for conversations that grow transparency about our decisions, promises, and understanding of one another.

Tiffani Williams organized a diversity potluck, which is one of LA’s activities for Diversity Month. She invited me into House 9 where I lead a discussion around Cultural Appreciation. The staff were SO engaged, and the conversation was extremely rich. We even had staff and youth who acknowledged their personal areas for improvement. Tiffani displayed the type of dedication that I want to see from our leadership. Tiffani created the space to highlight the importance of relationship building and understanding of each other. The input from the staff proved that they felt safe enough to be open and vulnerable to share their experiences and perspectives. A huge thank you to Tiffani for using her platform to push our diversity work forward.

Congratulations Tiffani, and Thank You!

 

Read more from Core Value Award Winner – Relationships – July 2021

Core Value Award Winner – Safety – July 2021

Safety as a Mindset

We value life, spirit, and health above all else and take action to maintain the safety of our workplaces, programs, and services through a trauma-responsive lens. We are personally accountable for our own safety and collectively responsible for the mental, emotional, and physical safety of our community.

Ms. Norma is by far one of the most outstanding workers in our program. She tackles issues with the youth right away.  Ms. Norma is an amazing communicator and has been able to mediate and resolve conflict flawlessly, creating a lasting impact on our youths’ behaviors and relationships in the cottage. She is appreciated by co-workers and youth alike. The atmosphere in C4 is always welcoming and inclusive because of her.

Congratulations Norma and thank you!

Read more from Core Value Award Winner – Safety – July 2021

BCC celebrates Juneteenth

The Board of Child Care celebrates Juneteenth. Juneteenth (June 19) marks the Nation’s 2nd Independence Day and is a significant milestone in United State’s history.

President Joe Biden signed a bill yesterday commemorating Juneteenth, the end of slavery in the United States. June 19 is now an official federal holiday!

“By making Juneteenth a federal holiday we are, recognizing the sins of the past, grappling with them, teaching them and learning from them as we work towards a perfect union,” Senate Majority Leader, Chuck Schumer, said in a press conference after the Senate passage of the bill. “It will be the only federal holiday that recognizes the terrible legacy of slavery as well as the noble truth that none of us are free until we are all free,” the majority leader continued.

See history happen by clicking this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7OpS18G-2hw

On January 1, 1863, Abraham Lincoln declared the end of slavery with the Emancipation Proclamation. Two and half years later, and two months after the end of the Civil War, Union troops arrived in Galveston on June 19, 1865, to find that news of the Proclamation had not yet reached Galveston and that people were still slaves in Texas.

The annual commemoration of this date, known as Juneteenth, was seen as a stabilizing and motivating presence in the lives of African-Americans in Texas. They, despite their newly acquired freedom, still faced many uncertainties and challenges.

Celebrations of Juneteenth include parades, storytelling, barbecues, and baseball. Strawberry soda pop is the drink of choice, and the building from which General Granger read the Proclamation is now a historic landmark.

BCC celebrates Juneteenth in various ways with special meals consisting of foods reflective of the African Diaspora and providing a professional development workshop. Please join BCC Juneteenth celebration at the following celebrations:

  •  Juneteenth Professional Development: Solidarity as a Verb Monday, June 21, 1:30 pm-3:30 pm via zoom. Registration instructions will roll out on Monday, June 14. This is a MANDATORY training for all BCC staff.
  • Juneteenth Cookout and Information session for BCC West Virginia. Wednesday, June 16.
  • Enjoy a special Juneteenth Dinner Menu at our Baltimore Campus Saturday, June 19.

BCC acknowledges Juneteenth as a special holiday with festivities around our communities. Additionally, we are declaring this upcoming Saturday, June 19th a holiday. Everyone working this day will receive holiday pay (which is double their regular hourly rate) to celebrate this day. BCC is also relaxing the “Black Out” requirement for this day. In 2022, BCC will continue the practice of holiday pay for this day and add the Federally recognized Juneteenth day off to add to our celebration!

Read more from BCC celebrates Juneteenth

BCC Celebrates Pride Month

The Board of Child Care (BCC) and the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Committee would like to wish our community a Happy PRIDE Month! PRIDE takes place every June and is a time for the world’s LGBTQ+ Communities to come together and celebrate the freedom to be themselves. PRIDE celebrations are rooted in a long history of minority groups who have struggled for decades to overcome prejudice and be accepted for who they are. The Board of Child Care respects, accepts, and values the voices, lives, and experiences of all our staff, youth, and community partners who are members of this community. We could not do this mission-focused work without your contributions to society and the examples that you set for us all. Thank you and Happy PRIDE, not only in the month of June but every single day!

The original organizers of PRIDE chose the month of June to honor the Stonewall uprising that took place in June of 1969 in New York City, where police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar, and began harassing and pulling customers outside. Patrons resisted arrest, and crowds gathered in protest of the officers’ cruel and unnecessary treatment. This event displayed the built-up frustration towards authorities and social systems that discriminated against marginalized groups and were the catalyst for an emerging gay rights movement. Civic organizations formed and held protests, met with political leaders and worked to educate the world on the purpose of the movement. Today, the LGBTQ+ community continues to fight for rights and equality. Nationwide marriage equality is a more recent victory. However, various forms of discrimination still run rampant for the LGBTQ+ community. PRIDE is an opportunity to focus our energy on the history, progress, and future of the LGBTQ+ community.

If you do not know much about the LGBTQ+ community or PRIDE month, don’t worry! There are so many ways to get educated and involved! Check out the list below:

  • Hit the Books – Research is the best way to not only understand PRIDE but also become a better ally. Read up on the history of the movement, educate yourself on proper pronouns, watch documentaries on LGBTQ+ issues.
  • Walk the Walk- If you are well versed in the LGBTQ+ community, use that knowledge for good. Provide opportunities for members of this community to be heard on various platforms. Create safe environments for colleagues and youth to feel supported. Set the example of what it truly means to be an ally.
  • Participate in your local pride events – Attending local events will allow you to network and learn directly from members of this community. Pay attention to social media, local universities, and nonprofits for information about celebrations.
  • Door Decorating Contest: The picture above is a great example of the results you can get when you have a team and youth-based PRIDE contest. Thanks, Team West Virginia, for being an ALLY.No matter how you choose to celebrate, the Board of Child Care encourages you to remember those who fought for equal rights and those who still do. As an organization, we are continuing to create safe spaces, bring forth important conversations, and build allyship for all members of our community. We encourage you to join us in this work so we all can engage with joy and purpose and bring our most authentic selves to our community.
Read more from BCC Celebrates Pride Month